College Senate Bulletin 

Bulletin No. 15
March 14, 2004
Contents

Announcements
Spring 2004 Senate Meeting Schedule
Spring Elections
Announcement from Nominations Committee
Call for Nominations - 2003-2004 Richard Roark Award
Approval of Actions Taken at February 24, 2004 Senate Meeting
Minutes of the Student Affairs Committee, February 17, 2004
Minutes: All College Meeting, February 24, 2004
Minutes: Senate Meeting on February 24, 2004
Text of President Dahl's Remarks on Recent Bias-Related Acts

Correspondence: Charlie Freeman, Department of Physics,

Greene 202; e-mail: freeman@geneseo.edu; phone: 245-5286


Spring 2004 College Senate Meeting Schedule

All Senate Meetings: 4:00 pm, Newton 204
March 23
April 20

Spring Elections

Ballots for the Spring 2004 elections were distributed over Spring Break to members of the teaching faculty and the administrative faculty via intercampus mail. As has been done in recent years, votes can be cast electronically via the web. Detailed instructions for casting votes will be included with the ballots. The deadline for submitting ballots will be 5 pm on March 26, 2004. The positions to be elected and the nominees for each position are as follows:

Senate Vice-Chair

· Maria Lima, English

Senate Secretary

· Savitri Iyer, Physics

Senate Treasurer

· Ming-Mei Chang, Biology

Senator at Large - over 6 years (5 open positions)

· Sharon Bossung, School of Business

· Walter Freed, English

· Edward Gillin, English

· William Gohlman, History

· Darrell Norris, Geography

· D. Jeffrey Over, Geology

· Margaret Stolee, History

· Michael Teres, Art

· Edward Wallace, Mathematics

Senator at Large - under 6 years (3 open positions)

· Anne Eisenberg - Sociology

· H. Cristina Geiger - Chemistry

· Rosemary McEwen - Foreign Languages

· Alice Rutkowski - English

· Teresa Zollo - Computer Science

NatSci/Math/CompSci Rep on General Education Committee

· Kurtis Fletcher, Physics

· Jeff Johannes, Math

· Olympia Nicodemi, Math

Professional Programs Rep on General Education Committee

· Kathleen Jones, Communicative Disorders and Sciences

· Jane Fowler Morse, School of Education

NatSci/Math/CompSci Rep on Professional Leave Review Committee

· Isidro Bosch, Biology

· David Johnson, Chemistry

Humanities Rep on Professional Leave Review Committee

· Rachel Hall, English

· David Tamarin, History

Social Sciences Rep on Professional Leave Review Committee

· Joseph Bulsys, Communication

· Steve Derne, Sociology

· Daniel Repinski, Psychology

As specified in the Constitution, members of the teaching faculty are eligible to vote for all of these positions; members of the administrative faculty are only eligible to vote for the senate officers (vice chair, secretary, and treasurer).

Announcement from the Nominations Committee

The Nominations Committee has determined that four members must be elected to the Faculty Personnel Committee including a minimum of 3 Full Professors. Eligible Associate and Full Professors will be contacted by the Nominations Committee and are required to indicate their willingness or unwillingness to serve on this committee.

Call for Nominations - 2003-2004 Richard Roark Award

Shortly after Richard Roark's untimely death in 1970, a group of his friends established an award to honor his memory. Richard's friends described him this way: "Richard was a special kind of human being who valued the humane and ethical above all else. He was a scholar and intellectual who treasured learning and especially books with which, he though, ever person could access the accumulated knowledge of all previous civilizations."

The Richard Roark Award is given to a graduating senior whose scholarship and community service exemplify the qualities that were so important to Richard. The recipient is given a stipend to purchase books, and the recipient's name will be inscribed on a plaque displayed in the MacVittie College Union. Please submit letters of nominations by April 1, 2004 to Charlie Freeman, Department of Physics, Greene 202.

Approval of Actions Taken at February 24, 2004 Senate Meeting

President Dahl has informed the Senate Chair that he approves the recommendations that resulted from the College Senate actions on February 24, 2004

Minutes of the Student Affairs Committee, February 17, 2004

Committee Members Present: K. Davies, W. Freed, J. Tang, E. Bock, J. Principe, M. Ranieri, S. Enam, C. Geiger, C. Rowley, T. Zollo

Committee Members Absent: C. Annala, D. McPherson, R. Holthaus, M. Lynch, B. Nash, J. Hyman, J. Van Remmen

The meeting was called to order at 4:03 p.m.

C. Geiger and J. Principe facilitated the meeting for M. Lynch who was absent.

Old Business:

Syllabus Statement re: Students with Disabilities: No committee members present had updated information beyond the proposal having been sent to the Policy Committee for review.

Health and Safety Working Group Proposal: J. Principe reported that the working group initiated a freshman seminar entitled “Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll: A Guide for the Transition to College”, which will be team-taught and will include staff from the health center. The seminar will be offered only to first semester freshman for 1 credit INTD.

Sundance Bookstore: A survey was sent to students, but no committee members present had updated information.

Academic Calendar: The President and Provost have changed the academic calendar so that the break between the Fall and Spring semesters will be approximately 4 weeks rather than 3 weeks. Classes will resume the day after Martin Luther King Day.

New Business:

Agenda Development: A couple faculty members present reported that students from under-represented groups expressed concerns for their safety following incidents in which swastikas and hostile graffiti were found on campus. The students felt that the college administration’s response was not adequate, and were dissatisfied with the amount of information that was made available about the incidents.

Faculty members suggested that a strong statement needs to be made to help minority students feel safer on this campus.

J. Principe referred to a program held in dorms called “Countering Graffiti”, where students are encouraged to write their reactions/responses to inappropriate graffiti on posters that are displayed in public areas.

The students present indicated that they feel this campus is very safe. Faculty members asked about the availability of escort services for students. The students referred to the bus service, but did not know of any escort service.

Some faculty members suggested that crimes on and near campus should be reported to the campus community immediately by means of posters hung in prominent locations, as is done at some other schools. The posters should give details of the incidents that could help students, faculty and staff avoid dangerous situations, and perhaps help identify the perpetrators.

The committee would like to discuss possible policies and protocols for addressing and publicizing crimes that occur on campus.

 

Attendance Policy: Some members of SAC reported that the Policy Committee is considering a proposal that would give faculty the choice of factoring class attendance into final grades. Many faculty members already count attendance in the grade indirectly, either by including a class participation score, by having frequent quizzes, or by some other means. However, many times the “class participation” criterion is vague, and students sometimes believe they are unfairly penalized. Some students reported that some of their instructors regularly take attendance.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Cristina Geiger, Jenn Principe, and Teresa Zollo

(on behalf of Michael Lynch)

Minutes: All College Meeting, February 24, 2004

Anderson, D., Annala, C., Bailey, S., Bazzett, T., Bearden, J., Bicket, D., Bock, E., Boiani, J., Bonfiglio, R., Bosch, S., Brainard, S., Chatterton, L., Cope, J., Cunningham, K., Dahl, C., Dance, E., Enam, S., Esch, M., Everett T., Faulkner, C., Fletcher, K., Freeman, C., Geiger, C., Gillin, E., Gohlman, B., Gordon, D., Gouvernet, G., Granger, D., Hannam, K., Hartman, R., Hartvigsen, G., Hon, T., Hoops, H., Hyman, J., Iyer, C., Jadlos, C., Jassawalla, A., Johnson, D., Klima, C., Landes, S., Levison, K., Lima, M., Lynch, M., Metz, D., Myers, H., Nash, B., Norris, D., Principe, J., Putman, E., Remy, J., Rowley, C., Savellos, E., Shenoy, A., Stanley, A., Sutherland, M., Tamura, Y., Tang, J., Truglia, C., VanRemmen, J., Weibel, A., Woidat, C., Youssef, C., Zhao, Z., Zollo, T., Muia, A., Swift, S., Chen, X., Ranieri, M.

 

GUESTS: Choi, E., Ast, G., Gallup, D., Marhamati, J., Brian, S., Levy, D., Howe, H., Clark, K., Frisch, S.

Call to Order

Nominations Committee Report, Melissa Sutherland, chair:

Presentation of Nominees for Senate Vice-Chair

· Maria Lima, English

Presentation of Nominees for Senate Secretary

· Savitri Iyer, Physics

Presentation of Nominees for Senate Treasurer

· Ming-Mei Chang, Biology

Presentation of Nominees for Senator at Large - over 6 years (5 open positions)

· Sharon Bossung, School of Business

· Walter Freed, English

· Edward Gillin, English

· Darrell Norris, Geography

· D. Jeffrey Over, Geology

· Margaret Stolee, History

· Michael Teres, Art

· Edward Wallace, Mathematics

Presentation of Nominees for Senator at Large - under 6 years (3 open positions)

· Anne Eisenberg - Sociology

· H. Christina Geiger - Chemistry

· Rosemary McEwen - Foreign Languages

· Alice Rutkowski - English

· Teresa Zollo - Computer Science

Call for additional nominations for Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, and Senators at Large (additional

nominations for these positions may be made from the floor):

T. Hon nominates Bill Gohlman for senator over 6 yrs

Presentation of Nominees for NatSci/Math/CompSci Rep on General Education Committee

· Kurtis Fletcher, Physics

· Jeff Johannes, Math

· Olympia Nicodemi, Math

Presentation of Nominees for Professional Programs Rep on General Education Committee

· Kathleen Jones, Communicative Disorders and Sciences

· Jane Fowler Morse, School of Education

Presentation of Nominees for NatSci/Math/CompSci Rep on Professional Leave Review Committee

· Isidro Bosch, Biology

· David Johnson, Chemistry

Presentation of Nominees for Humanities Rep on Professional Leave Review Committee

· Rachel Hall, English

· David Tamarin, History

Presentation of Nominees for Social Sciences Rep on Professional Leave Review Committee

· Joseph Bulsys, Communication

· Steve Derne, Sociology

· Daniel Repinski, Psychology

Freeman: thanks nominations committee for their hard work

Adjournment

Minutes: Senate Meeting on February 24, 2004

Call to Order

Adoption of the Agenda

p. 144-45, Senate Bulletin 14--adopted

Approval of the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

p. 134, Senate Bulletin 13, with corrections on page 145 of this bulletin

Kurt Fletcher notes that he did attend.

Minutes approved

Senate Reports

President Christopher Dahl: Two announcements. 1. Lobbying efforts re: state budget have begun. We will ask for $50 million more, and to get rid of TAP proposal to have students lend money to the state. SUNY presidents will be meeting in Albany March 15-16. 2. Provost search is reaching final stage, preparing to make offers. Thanks to the committee chaired by Ron Herzman; they were careful, conscientious and concerned with public good. Thanks to members of college community who provided input. Dahl would also like to make some comments re: bias related incidents on campus, plus perspective as president and member of college community. Still seeking information about person/s who drew swastikas various places on campus. Still don’t know who did this or why, but college is taking this very seriously. Please report any information to police. This kind of hate symbolism unacceptable on campus and college takes action based on law and student policy. Most concerned with effect on campus climate. Dahl met with various student organizations to discuss these events, will continue to do so. In cases like this, College must make its position clear. These events should also serve as a wake-up call to review procedures and make sure college is fostering a supportive community for all students. Campus is reviewing new state laws re: bias on campus and working on policy for reporting and disciplinary procedures. There has been a reassuring response from campus community. First-year student Cindy Duran from Niagara Hall organized “Reclaiming our Community” event in Sturges Hall. Philosophy Club also hosted good discussion. Kelly Clark and number of faculty and students organizing a unity day, tentatively scheduled for April 5. Provost Gordon also considering faculty forums and additional speakers.

Geneseo’s activities and policies on diversity are important part of college’s mission. Geneseo supports affirmative action and race conscious admissions, as well as admissions policies that take into account other forms of diversity, under state and federal law. College’s diversity statement, endorsed by College senate, is the key to college’s thinking. Geneseo’s definition of diversity is broad and includes background, ideas, orientation, etc. In order to achieve educational excellence as a public liberal arts college, college must embrace both diversity of its members and vigorous exchange of ideas. To achieve this, it is important to recruit diverse faculty and student body. Geneseo is proud of our highly successful AOP students, who raise the quality of education offered here. Discussions of race and affirmative action are difficult, and people in academic community must be allowed to disagree. We will not achieve a diverse educational community if we stifle dissent or prevent a wide range of academic views from being expressed. Can we manage these conversations, and disagree, without harming members of the campus community?

The hate symbols are an occasion to think about our community. The conversations that grew out of these incidents are difficult, but present an opportunity to “get it right” by talking about controversial issues and supporting our diverse community.

Provost David Gordon: On Feb 14, representatives from eight different SUNY campuses met at Brockport to discuss American Democracy Project. Each of the institutions defined civic engagement as key part of their mission as public colleges and universities. We made connections and may try to work on a joint program with Brockport. We should think of American Democracy project as another way to address the difficult questions raised by the hate symbols appearing on our campus. Everyone invited to participate. We hope to have proposal by end of the academic year.

Chair Charles Freeman: Gohlman and Freeman attended University Faculty Senate meeting—Gohlman will update on assessment. Elections for spring: ballots should be ready by March 15. Deadline will be March 26 for submitting ballots.

Vice Chair Gregg Hartvigsen: no report

Treasurer Errol Putman: accepting donations for Senate Fund.

University Senator William Gohlman: See bulletin 139-140, which has good summary of UFS meeting and letter from Joe Hildreth. The senate decided to postpone any kind of vote, and to continue talking and submit another proposal. It was clear that senators didn’t like proposal written by the executive committee. Have appointed new committee to draft a proposal, which they should give to chancellor by end of March. No campus interested in system wide assessment. Chancellor still wants some kind of objective assessment.

Central Council Liz Dance: Student Association constitutional review committee has been working on revisions for last three months. Referendum will begin Monday March 1, and voting will end March 19. Students: be sure to vote! Voting will be on Knightweb. Interresidence Council sending reps to conference competing for award on school of the year. Evening with Mark Twain tonight in Union ballroom. Students have been discussing attendance policy.

Reports of the Standing Committees of the Senate

Undergraduate Curricula Cynthia Klima

First Readings

New Courses: COMN 391, Seminar: Issues in Communication (p. 150)--appoved

Course Revisions: CDSC 310 Literacy Development (p. 149); CDSC 330 Clinical Intervention I (p. 149); CDSC 331 Clinical Intervention II (p. 149); GEOG 371 Synoptic Climatology (p. 151); GEOG 250 American Landscapes, add U/ Core (p. 151)--approved

Course Deletions: COMN 301 Topics in Journalism: (subtitle) (p. 151); COMN 351 Issues in Political Communication: (subtitle) (p. 151); COMN 364 Seminar: Issues & Problems in Broadcasting (p. 151)--approved

Major Revisions: Communication BA (p. 150); Geography BA (p. 151); International Relations BA proposal 1 (p. 152); International Relations BA proposal 2 (p. 152)—approved

Second Readings:

New Courses: ANTH 234 Social Anthropology (p. 120); MATH 239 Introduction to Mathematical Proof (p. 120); ECON 365 International Macroeconomics (p. 122); ECON 293 Honors Seminar in Economics I (p. 122)--approved

Course Revisions: ACCT 211 Intermediate Financial Accounting II (p. 121); ACCT 310 Introduction to Federal Income Taxation (p. 122); CSCI 242 Analysis of Algorithms (p. 121); ECON 364 International Trade and Economic Policy (p. 122); ECON 393 Honors Seminar n Economics II (p. 122); GEOG 365 Geography of Islam, add M/core, (p. 122); MATH 237 Introduction to Discrete Mathematics (p. 121)--approved

Major Revisions: B.A. in Mathematics (p. 121); B.A. in Mathematics with Adolescent Certification (p. 121); B.A. in Theater (p. 120); B.S. in Accounting (p. 121)--approved

Minor Revisions: Asian Studies Minor (p. 122); Minor in Mathematics (p. 121)--approved

Undergraduate Policies Harold Hoops: We currently have a “no attendance” policy, in which attendance can not be considered in grading. Proposal for faculty to have option of requiring attendance, and factoring it into grading.

First Reading: Proposed Faculty-Option Attendance Policy (please see proposal in Policy minutes

in Senate Bulletin 13, page 130)

Much discussion ensued. Many students expressed the opinion that the policy as written was dangerously unclear, and feared students would experience arbitrary attendance policies from professors, who may not be sensitive to the many co-curricular activities in which students participate. But several noted that in some classes professors already grade on attendance, and this policy would force professors to state this up front.

D. Granger offered a friendly amendment to second caveat, second sentence. Remove b/c may be misleading for students who do field experiences that are essential to their grades.

Hoops: committee agrees that it doesn’t change policy—recommends striking second sentence.

Discussion ensued with many faculty and staff expressing concern that there will be less flexibility for students who must miss class for sports, conferences, etc.,

After voting on Granger’s amendment, it carries, and those present continue to discuss pros and cons of proposed policy change. Some expressed opinion that attendance does not insure participation and that if the goal is to increase participation, this may not be the way to go about it. Also some discussion of current policy on excused absences and methods for appealing grades.

Call to question, but did not have required 2/3 to cease discussion so discussion continued.

Lima explains that when Greenfield started proposal as dean, he saw that students on probation were often students who didn’t attend class. In policy committee, became evident that teachers in large classes would not bother taking attendance as teachers would in discussion classes.

Despite the motive to help failing students, many seemed unconvinced and debated how this policy might work in reality. Further concern expressed over lack of clarity in proposal as written.

Student J. Hyman proposes to amend policy with: students may appeal all grade impacts of attendance policy to chair of appropriate department.

S. Bailey notes we have in place a grade appeal policy which would cover that situation.

After some discussion, amendment called to question, 2/3 majority voted to cease discussing amendment and vote on it. Amendment voted down. Discussion of main proposal continued. Hoops notes that other schools with excellent academic reputations have similar attendance policies: Yale, Georgetown, Skidmore, Wesleyan, etc. All allow faculty to set rule for attendance.

Another proposal floated to include sentence that states students may appeal to the dean, a statement of the policy that already exists.

Motion made to send back to policy committee for clarification.

Hoops: would like to have feeling about what people propose to do to clarify. Has no feeling yet.

Gillin: in policy committee he didn’t feel there were a lot of obscurities. Has sense that college ought to look at it or vote it up or down. Best expression of unhappiness is to vote down proposal.

Motion dies and senate votes down attendance policy.

At 5:48 meeting was adjourned due to loss of quorum.

Text of President Dahl's Remarks on Recent Bias-Related Acts

President Christopher C. Dahl

College Senate Meeting 2/24/04

Remarks on Recent Bias-Related Acts

Although I have two announcements, I want to devote most of my remarks today to the recent bias-related acts on campus—both the acts themselves and the College's response. I would also like to offer a few personal observations on the College community’s reactions and the issues raised.

At the outset, it is important to be clear about what happened. In three instances, in the week before January 21, swastikas appeared on campus. First, a swastika was written by magic marker on a bulletin in Niagara Hall, along with the word “nigga.” In the second instance, swastikas were written in some sort of foodstuff on a window in Letchworth Dining Hall, and finally someone stamped a swastika design in the snow in front of Erwin Hall. We are still seeking information regarding the person or persons responsible for the acts, and I encourage anyone who has information to come forward.

At this time we do not know the motives or intentions of the person or persons who made these marks, whether they were the result of a prank or the conscious expression of hatred against a particular group or groups. Nonetheless, the College takes episodes of this sort very seriously. In this case all three actions were reported to University Police, and on January 21 Vice President Bonfiglio, speaking on behalf of the College, sent an e-mail message to all students, condemning the use of the swastika as a symbol of hate and oppression and making it clear that hate-speech or racist symbolism is not tolerated on this campus. I take this opportunity now to affirm the College’s position again.

I might also add that when we have encountered hate-speech in the past, the College has taken strong action within the constraints of federal and state law and campus policies. In the case of abusive e-mails received by a number of individuals and organizations last year, for example, the University Police vigorously investigated the incidents, calling in a State Police cybercrime squad, secured a warrant for the arrest of the perpetrator, and pursued him to a downstate location and across state lines. The person responsible for the e-mails was ultimately prosecuted and convicted.

We take incidents such as the swastikas seriously because of their effect on campus climate. In this most recent case, there were key concerns among members of the Black Student Union and the Latino Student Association, for example, and I met (at their invitation) with members of the executive boards of those organizations to discuss the campus’s response to the swastikas. For the rest of the semester I plan to meet regularly with the officers of various student organizations to discuss campus climate for students of color, gay and lesbian students, and women. Earlier today I met with the President of Hillel at Geneseo. As chief administrative officer, I wish to make the College’s position clear. We condemn symbols of hate and support the rights of all members of this community to live and learn on a campus free of intimidation. In general, I believe that it is better to err on the side of taking episodes of hate symbols too seriously than to ignore them.

Incidents of this sort are often wake-up calls, reminding us not to relent in our efforts to build a strong, inclusive community and providing an opportunity to improve our procedures for handling crises. In the past year, a new state law on reporting bias-related crimes on campus was enacted. We shall be in compliance as required. We are also working to revise a set of campus protocols on reporting bias-related incidents drafted by a group chaired by Vice President Bonfiglio last spring. New procedures informing all members of the campus community where and how to report bias-related incidents should be in place by the end of this year.

Although the recent episodes were deplorable and frightening, they also evinced positive responses from our campus community. Cindy Durand, a first-year student in Niagara Hall, organized a valuable and inspiring “Reclaiming Our Campus” event on February 5, attended by 200 members of the community. It was a moving occasion on which people honestly shared their differences and talked about ways to bring diverse groups together on campus. That event was followed by an open discussion of the issues related to hate speech sponsored by the Philosophy Club and moderated by students. Kelly Clark, Director of Multicultural Affairs, is working with faculty, students and staff to organize a Unity Day on April 5, and students and staff in Wayne Hall will be sponsoring a Week of Unity. Interim Provost Gordon is organizing a series of lectures and educational events concerning discrimination, affirmative action, and diversity that will involve experts from our own faculty and other nationally recognized scholars. Despite the recent events that triggered these discussions, the potential is here at Geneseo to carry on discussions of difficult issues in a way that doesn’t tear our community apart.

Let me step back from the immediate situation for a moment and make a few general comments about why we do what we do to promote and support diversity at Geneseo. The College’s policies on diversity and the things we do to promote it are not the reflection of some cookie-cutter pattern imposed by political forces outside the campus. They grow out of a coherent philosophy of excellence and quality in liberal education for Geneseo undergraduates. The College supports affirmative action and race-conscious admissions policies—operating, of course, within the framework of U. S. Supreme Court decisions and state law—because we believe that a diverse community of students and faculty enhances the quality of Geneseo as a public liberal arts college and contributes directly to the educational experience of our students.

Geneseo’s statement on diversity and community, endorsed by this body in September, is central to our efforts. As you no doubt recall, the definition of diversity in the statement is broad, not confined to race and gender but also taking into account sexual orientation, disability status, world-view, and other aspects of difference. All of our efforts are plainly situated in the philosophical context of a public liberal arts college. The statement also makes clear the importance the exchange of a various and differing ideas in a diverse community. Educational excellence is chief among the values we hold dear at Geneseo, and this community formally recognizes, in the words of the statement, “that its progress . . . toward such excellence is predicated on its ability to embrace both the diversity of its members and the vigorous exchange of their ideas.”

At a public liberal arts college like Geneseo it is therefore vitally important to recruit a diverse student body. That's why we're proud of our Access Opportunity Program students, who have compiled a highly successful record over the years. Rather than bringing down the academic quality of this institution, they strengthen the educational quality of the College. Some of our most distinguished alumni are former EOP students—and in fact I might add that EOP is an economically based program, by the way, that serves diversity in a number of ways. At Geneseo, we’re very clear in our minds about the value of these programs. And in national and state-wide terms their value can be plainly documented.

As president of the College and as a public representative of this community, then, I affirm the value of diversity in achieving our goals as a public liberal arts college. But I am also aware that discussions of race and topics like affirmative action and other policy issues on which there is plenty of debate in American society are often difficult conversations to carry on. While we affirm the value of diversity—true diversity—on campus, we must also be careful to ensure that individuals in an academic community are free to dissent and disagree. Along with fostering diversity, this is one of the biggest challenges we face today, on campus and in America in general. Can we manage these difficult conversations in such a way that we can disagree and debate without singling out groups of people in ways that diminish them and without stifling individual dissent or people's ability to disagree and discuss a wide range of viewpoints? That's what our diversity statement means by embracing both the diversity of membership in a teaching and learning community and the vigorous exchange of ideas in such a community. I am convinced that we will not achieve our goals of excellence and diversity if we demean the personal contributions of individuals to the community, on the one hand, or seek to stifle dissent, on the other.

The hate-symbols, the swastikas, as I suggested, are a kind of wake-up call, but the conversations that have sprung up in their aftermath are also an opportunity for our community. To be sure, these are often difficult conversations in which we are engaged. But we do have an opportunity, in this place and at this time, "to get it right": to engage with each other on some of the most important issues of the day—race, war and peace, wealth and poverty—and to create a community where we can be honest with each other, where we can disagree with each other and at the same time learn from each other. In these difficult conversations, we have the opportunity to break through the veneer of niceness and really engage in the learning process that is our true enterprise as a college, and to do so in ways that will ultimately strengthen our community. This is my hope, in any event, and the positive possibility I see in our current situation. If we cannot carry on these difficult conversations in a residential college community like ours, with honesty, civility, and respect for others, then they can’t be carried on anywhere else in our society. I invite you to think, to speak, and to engage.